Restore and repair
We blocked up the back door, which meant we could add almost double the cupboard space, and with the dividing wall gone, we reconfigured the kitchen around a new range cooker and butler sink. We painted the kitchen cabinets, changed the handles, replaced the laminate worktop with solid oak and substituted the old tiles for new white, crackle-glaze metro tiles. The conservatory became our new dining area, and we restored the original parquet flooring in the living area, which had taken quite a pounding during all the work. The new log burner is Matthew’s pride and joy!
The next thing for Matthew to tackle was the family bathroom. He removed the old-fashioned suite, dated green tiles, black laminate flooring and magnolia gloss ceiling. He then panelled the bottom half of the room and painted the rest, including the ceiling, in a luscious dark blue, giving the small bathroom plenty of character. With both sets of parents nearby we were able to use their bathrooms while he finished the work. A claw-foot, free-standing bath that we found on eBay and restored ourselves takes pride of place. Changing things up Over time, we have replastered and redecorated the front living room and the whole of the upstairs, one room at a time. We ripped up the carpet, restored the floorboards and painted them white.
Initially my style was very shabby chic – we had lots of distressed French-style furniture and everything was decorated white or grey – but by the time our son Jude was born in 2018 that simply wasn’t me anymore. I spent much of my maternity leave with a paintbrush in hand and Jude in his bouncer, redecorating most of the rooms and bringing in fab mid-century-style pieces. I adore the results and we now have neutrally painted rooms with fun splashes of colour. Retreat style Our main bedroom is my favourite room with its mix of mustard and pink tones, and the long, elegant, bespoke velvet headboard that Matthew made for us.
The room now feels luxurious and is our haven away from the chaos of life with little ones. Both children’s rooms feel fresh and modern, complete with lots of little design quirks that bring in some fun and suit their personalities. The once dark front living room is now spacious and light, helped largely by the painted white floor, white walls and pretty, pink painted woodwork.
A Job Well done The house has come a long way in the four years that we have been living here and we are so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve in that time – balancing renovations and redecorating with both family life and our full-time jobs. Matthew has put so much work and effort into the house, skilfully (and patiently!) turning our ideas into reality. We’ve ended up with a spacious, bright and welcoming family home, which reflects all of our personalities and gives our young family room to grow.
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